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Hot Lemon Souffles

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Serves: 6
15g / 1/2 oz butter, plus more for the dish
8 large lemons
175g / 6 oz caster sugar
200ml / 7 fl oz milk
2 eggs, separated
1 tbsp plain flour
icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 200ºC / fan oven 180ºC / gas mark 6 and butter an oven proof dish. Slice the tops off 6 of the lemons and scoop out the flesh and membranes. Strain this pulp through a sieve and reserve the juice. Cut a thin slice off the base of each of the 6 lemons, then stand them close together in the buttered dish.

Put the lemon juice and half of the sugar in a pan. Bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, then boil for 2-3 minutes until slightly syrupy. Stir in the butter and keep this sauce warm.

Pare the rind from one of the remaining lemons and place the rind in a pan with the milk. Heat gently, then simmer for 2 minutes; remove the pared rind. Grate the zest from the last lemon and reserve.

Whisk the egg yolks and half the remaining sugar until pale and slightly thickened. Whisk in the flour, then strain in the milk. Bring the milk mixture slowly to the boil in a pan, stirring until thickened and smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated lemon zest.

Whisk the egg whites until foamy, add the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff. Then fold into the custard mixture. Divide the mixture between the lemon shells and bake for 15-20 minutes, until well risen and golden. Dust with icing sugar.

Pour the sauce on 6 plates and quickly place a soufflé in the centre of each. Serve at once.

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